Real estate players wake up to digital media to boost sales
Not only are the developers finding digital media cost efficient but also increasingly effective in enhancing conversion rates
Mar 08, 2014
Source : Business Standard


AHMEDABAD: From setting up branded YouTube channel that showcase walkthroughs of upcoming projects, to hiring social media marketing firms, real estate players such as Godrej Properties, Tata Housing and Adani are joining the digital media marketing bandwagon in a bid to strengthen sales.

Not only are the developers finding digital media cost efficient but also increasingly effective in enhancing conversion rates.

So on one hand while Tata Housing saw over 10 bookings in first few hours of going live, Godrej Properties finds 20 per cent of its sales coming from online play.

"The internet is influencing consumer behavior as 7 out of 10 buyers know the exact brand and model they want to buy with the help of online research, says a study by Google India. Following the success of both Great Online Shopping Festival and National Home Buying Day - where we both the marketing of the sale, and the transaction itself, were conducted purely online - we plan to add several more to the calendar, providing consumers more frequent avenues for accessing quality homes. This is emerging as an exciting option to target HNI's and NRI's," says Brotin Banerjee, CEO and MD, Tata Housing.

The developer recently found success in the three-day 'Great Online Shopping Festival' where Google in association with Tata Housing offered prospective buyers of houses and encouraged them to book a flat or apartment by the company. Moreover, Tata Value Homes (TVHL), a 100 per cent subsidiary of Tata Housing recently received over 200 applications online within three hours on the National Home Buying Day.

For Godrej Properties as well, the number of online enquiries for its projects has more than doubled over the past few months.

"We use digital media to build communities of like-minded individuals, without an overt brand presence. This allows for a lot of creative flexibility and the ability to co-create products by crowd-sourcing trends and preferences. We also use it to convey transparency and are probably the first real estate brand in the country to have branded youtube channel, which has sets dedicated to walkthroughs, news about the brand and project updates," says Girish Shah, Executive Vice President (Mktg & Sales), Godrej Properties Ltd.

The developer not only runs contests on Google +and LinkedIn to connect with diverse customers, but also has integrated IP-based calling that is connected to our call centre that is trained to handle specific campaign-related enquiries. If that is not enough, developers have also begun taking help of professional digital media marketing firms for enhancing their web presence.

"In the recent times, a number of our new client acquisition have been from the real estate industry. Developers this year have found it hard to continue business only through the offline media platform and have, hence, begun outsourcing their digital media activities to firms like us to enhance their web presence and bring in increased conversions," said Advit Sahdev, chief executive officer, ODigMa, a Bangalore-based digital marketing firm.

What also has been attracting real estate developers to the platform is the cost efficiency.

"Digital media tends to cost us one tenth of the conventional print and outdoor platforms and yet bring in at least 40-45 per cent conversions which is only growing. Also, there are lot of leakages in the conventional platform whereas the digital platform can be used to focus only on the target consumers. We have seen that out of 10 people using digital platform for our projects, nine have come to see the product," says Dipesh Roy, vice president (marketing) Adani Township and Real Estate Company.

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